Alexander James Edwards
Born in Essex, Alexander James Edwards began singing as a chorister at St Paul’s Cathedral, continuing his studies at the Royal Northern College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music. He joined the Young Artist Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, making his debut as Messenger Aïda.
Operatic roles have included Don José Carmen, Rodolfo La bohème and Pinkerton Madam Butterflyat London’s Royal Albert Hall, the title role in Albert Herring at the Salzburg Landestheater, Novice Billy Budd for English National Opera, Rinuccio Gianni Schicchi for Opera Holland Park, Ruggero La rondine for Iford Arts, Mr Erlanson A Little Night Music at the Théâtre du Châtelet, Pirelli Sweeney Todd, Tom Rakewell The Rake’s Progress for the Gothenburg Opera, Roderigo Otello for the Opéra Royal de Wallonie and The Duke of Mantua Rigoletto for Grange Park Opera ‘Rising Stars.’ With the Royal Ballet, he appeared as First Brother The Seven Deadly Sins.
His recordings and broadcasts include The Carmelites for Chandos and Friday Night is Music Night for BBC Radio 2.
He made his BBC Proms debut in 2006, and his concert engagements have included performances with the Academy of Ancient Music, the BBC Philharmonic, the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Hallé, Huddersfield Choral Society, the Israel Camerata, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, he Mikkeli Symphony Orchestra, the Orion Orchestra, the Oxford Philomusica, the Royal Choral Society, the Royal Northern Sinfonia and the Wexford Sinfonia. He has also been Featured Soloist at the Battle Proms and at the Leeds Castle Classical Open Air Concert and appears regularly in concert for Raymond Gubbay Ltd.
Highlights of 2015 / 2016 included Rodolfo La bohème for Lyric Opera, Dublin, and Festival Opera, Napier, New Zealand,Third Jew Salome for the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Foresto Attila at the Theater Lübeck, Berlioz Grande Messe des Morts with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera Galas with the Jersey Symphony Orchestra and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra,Classical Spectacular for Raymond Gubbay Ltd and The Puccini Scandal at the National Concert Hall, Dublin.
Current engagements include Carmina Burana for Dalhalla Opera, Cavaradossi Tosca for English Touring Opera (also at the Birgitta Festival, Tallinn), further performances as Foresto Attila at the Theater Lübeck, Alfredo La traviata for Lyric Opera, Dublin, Beethoven Symphony No. 9 with the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra and an Opera Gala with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. For Raymond Gubbay Ltd, he appears in the BT Christmas Concert, Classical Spectacular, Last Night of the Christmas Proms, a New Year’s Eve Gala, Spectacular Classics and at the National Concert Hall, Dublin, he appears in Callas - The Show and The Life and Music of Luciano Pavarotti – The Man Behind the Voice.
In 2011, James Edwards was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music by the Governing body of the RAM for distinguishing himself in the field of Opera.
Please note that this biography is not to be used for programmes. Current information is available on request.
Albert Herring / Salzburg Landestheater
“Alexander James Edwards makes Albert his own from his first entrance weighing the herbs, with his velvety soft cantilenas.”
Rodolfo: La bohème / Raymond Gubbay Ltd at the Royal Albert Hall, London
"To the good fortune of Saturday evening's audience, an indisposed tenor meant that the appealing Mimì of Alyson Cambridge was partnered by a terrific Rodolfo from another cast. Not having access to a programme (a long story) I wasn't aware of the singer's identity until after the performance, so I assumed that Gubbay had recruited a rising star from lands afar and was preparing to beg opera companies to take note. Instead the message is far simpler: why is Essex-born Alexander James Edwards not already a hot international property? His plangent timbre, at once romantic and heroic, is a rare enough beast and makes him the ideal Italianate tenor."
What’s on Stage
Rinuccio: Gianni Schicchi / Opera Holland Park
“Alexander James Edwards’ lyrical Rinuccio…”
“Alexander James Edwards, has an attractive lyric tenor sound, and was suitably dashing in his military uniform."
“Alexaner James Edwards’ hymn to Florence was finely rapturous. He has an Italianate voice with quite a dark, rich sound which suits some of the more spinto-ish roles. As Rinuccio he sounded more developed and mature than some singers, but James Edwards brought the requisite flexibility to the role too.”
“…his fervent paean to the wonders of ancient Florence was beautifully rich and velvety of tone and his lovely duet with Lauretta at the close was classic Puccini – a moment of sentimentality to soften the farce.”
Seen and Heard International
“Alexander James Edwards is an ebullient Rinuccio.”
“Alexander James Edwards, an Italianate tenor of the first order, is sturdy and ringing as Rinuccio…”
What’s On Stage
Pinkerton: Madam Butterfly / Raymond Gubbay Ltd at the Royal Albert Hall, London
“Alexander James Edwards looks the part and acts it confidently, his beefy tone fleshing out the US sailor’s blend of brash and callow.”
“Edwards is Pinkerton, anti-hero and all-round rotter, and he makes the best fist of the role I've heard in years. The voice rises easily and powerfully through an imperceptible passaggio and his acting has the throwaway bravura that only true stage animals can achieve.”
What’s On Stage
Ruggero: La rondine / Iford Arts
“As Ruggero, Alexander James Edwards is smooth and strong on all his notes, singing with superb accuracy. Sincere and straightforward, with just a hint of the prude, Edwards makes a perfect foil to (Ilona) Domnich’s tantalising siren.”
“Alexander James Edwards (who sang the supporting role of Gobin in the Royal Opera’s 2004 revival) was strongly cast as the young, infatuated Ruggero. Edwards made Ruggero’s diffidence in the face of metropolitan sophistication palpable, and he put his strong, lyrical tenor to fine use in the show-stopping ‘Paris, the city of desire’. He was very touching in his flirtation scene with Magda leading to his declaration of love in Act Two and approached an Alfredo-like gravitas when Magda gives him up in Act Three to return to her old life.”
“The naïve, infatuated Ruggero was touchingly portrayed by Alexander James Edwards, whose ardent tenor gave ‘Paris, the city of desire’ a Broadway heft, and he and (Ilona) Domnich were very convincing in the neatly-directed seduction scene.”
“…sings carefully throughout and turns up the emotional volume in the last act.”
Cavaradossi: Tosca / English Touring Opera
“…has the right Italianate warmth of sound.”
"(his) tonal quality is sufficiently warm and Italianate for him to field a memorable presence.”
“…authentically Italianate tone and attack allied to a keen sense of style…”
"Alexander James Edwards was a forthright Cavaradossi throughout, with a great ringing tone..."
“Alexander James Edwards as Cavaradossi offers a warm and well rounded sound.”
“…the tenor's finest hour comes when he's left alone to deliver a rapturously invested account of "E lucevan le stelle".”
Tom Rakewell: The Rake’s Progress / Gothenburg Opera
“…the brilliant British tenor Alexander James Edwards as the unfortunate rake, Tom Rakewell.”
Kultur & Nöje
“Best of the cast seems to me the British Alexander James Edwards, who completely inhabited the role of Tom Rakewell. He has an amazing voice and is just cut out for the role.”
“Alexander James Edwards was wonderful in the demanding role of Tom Rakewell, singing with glowing beauty.”
M. Erlanson: A Little Night Music / Théâtre du Châtelet
“The singers in the Liebeslieder quintet are outstanding…”
Foresto: Attila / Theater Lübeck
“Alexander James Edwards (Foresto) rose securely to the highest notes.”
“Alexander James Edwards, a tenor both melting of tone and powerful…”
“As Odabella’s fiancé, Alexander James Edwards produces wonderfully beautiful, lyrical arcs of sound.”
Roderigo: Otello / Opéra Royal de Wallonie, Liège
“In the other roles, Alexander James Edwards as Roderigo pleased above all..."
Vilar Young Artists Programme Concert / Royal Opera
“In scenes from Act II of Rossini’s Otello, tenor Alexander James Edwards in the title role profited from an Italianate ring to the top of his voice...”
A Christmas Gala / Ten Tors Orchestra
“Essex girls might grab most of the headlines, but outstanding tenor Alexander James Edwards single-handedly did more for the men of his county, than all the fake tan and stiletto heels put together. With the almost obligatory arias from Messiah, it was obvious that here was a voice to be reckoned with. But James’s stunning performance of three of Puccini’s best-loved numbers, and an equally impassioned account of Bizet’s Flower Song from Carmen clearly showed what he liked doing best, putting him streets ahead of nearly all the other soloists to have graced this annual Christmas event.”
The Glory of Christmas / Raymond Gubbay Ltd
“…Alexander James Edwards sang from the soul in O Holy Night and just melted the big audience.”
Haydn Lo Speziale (role of Sempronio)
Mary Nelson, Agam England-Saar, Daniel Auchincloss
Israel Camerata / Avner Biron
Israel Camerata ‘ Live’
Poulenc The Carmelites (role of First Commissioner)
With Catrin Wyn-Davies, Felicity Palmer, Orla Boylan, Josephine Barstow,
Sarah Tynan, Peter Wedd, Ashley Holland
Chorus and Orchestra of English National Opera / Paul Daniel
Chandos CHAN 3134
Verdi Otello (role of Roderigo)
Daniela Dessi, Fabio Armilato, Giovanni Meoni, Cristiano Cremonini
Orchestre et Cheours de l’Opéra Royal de Wallonie / Paolo Arriovobeni
SoloVoce CD42 8553231